Sunday, 21 October, 2018

North Korea tells USA it is prepared to discuss denuclearization

Trump could cause more harm than good in talks with Kim Trump could cause more harm than good in talks with Kim
Glenn Montgomery | 09 April, 2018, 01:29

North Korea has confirmed directly to the Trump administration that it is willing to negotiate with the United States over potential denuclearisation, administration officials said.

WASHINGTON/SEOUL The US and North Korea have been holding secret, direct talks to prepare for a summit between president Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, a sign that planning for the highly anticipated meeting is progressing.

CNN reported that North Korea wants to have the meeting in its capital, Pyongyang, and that preparations are under way for a possible meeting between Pompeo and the head of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, North Korea's intelligence agency.

No specifics have yet emerged concerning the date or venue of the proposed summit. It is the first time the offer was made directly to Washington, after it was previously conveyed through South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong.

North Korea has been under heavy UN Security Council sanctions since it staged a series of nuclear tests and missile launches in defiance of global pressure to abandon its atomic programme.

Former Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, who awaits Congressional confirmation for his appointment as a secretary of state.

South Korea's National Intelligence Service Chief Suh Hoon has been in close contact with his United States and North Korean counterparts.

The back-channel talks are the latest move in a flurry of diplomatic activity aimed at resolving the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula.

Although Trump tweeted on March 28 he was looking forward to the meeting, expressing, "there's just a good chance that Kim Jong Un will perform what is ideal for his people and also for humanity", many economists also have expressed doubt about the close program's aims. North Korea had relayed that proposal to the United States, according Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun. During that visit Kim was reported by Beijing as having committed to denuclearisation.

South Korea had contended that Kim was willing to do so and had also vowed to suspend nuclear and missile tests.

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